Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time. The Commodore 64 was our first ever home computer.
Originally released in 1982 and discontinued in 1994, the Commodore 64 was one of the world’s most popular home computers outselling its main competitors like the Atari 8-bit family computers, the IBM PC, ZX Spectrum, Apple Inc. computers and Amstrad computers.
Sam Tramiel, son of Commodore’s founder, said in a 1989 interview: “When I was at Commodore we were building 400,000 C64s a month for a couple of years.”
The Commodore 64 was a very versatile little machine. Whether you wanted to use it of bussines, school work or just gaming. This little machine could do anything you wanted/needed it to, which was in part why it was so popular. It was easy to use and covered anything you needed doing…though we only used it for games.
Whether you favoured the C64 tape deck, the floppy disk drive or even the cartridge format. The Commodore 64 had you covered as it could utilize all of them and provide you with a vast and varied gaming catalogue.
With great games like; Delta, Elite, The Last Ninja, Wizball, Impossible Mission and even some great acrade ports; Outrun, Gauntlet I & II, Spy Hunter, Yie Ar Kung Fu, Mr. Do’s Castle…it even had a port of Street Fighter II.
The Commodore 64 had an entire “family” of various versions. Like the Commodore SX-64 which was a portable, version of the original Commodore 64 and even holds the distinction of being the very first full colour portable computer.
There was also a Commodore MAX machine sold exclusively in Japan as more of a game console with limited computing capability.
The Educator 64 was created to be sold to schools and cut back on graphical capabilities so as to concentrate more on the educational aspects of the machine.
There was even Commodore 64 clones made in 2004 from manufacturer: Tulip Computers who became owners of the Commodore brand in 1997. Tulip Computers produced the C64 Direct-to-TV. Which was essentially a Commodore 64 computer, contained in a joystick which was modeled after the Competition Pro joystick and came with 30 built-in games.
Also in 1998 saw the release of the C64 branded; Web.it Internet Computer. This was a low-powered, Internet-oriented, all-in-one x86 PC running Windows 3.1.
Even as recent as 2011, PC clones branded as C64x were being sold by a company licensing the Commodore trademark, Commodore USA.
The Nintendo Wii had several Commodore 64 games released via the Wii’s Virtual Console service in Europe and North America. However, the games were removed from the Virtual Console service in 2013 for unknown reasons.
The Commodore 64 was a well celebrated and long remembered computer for a very good reason.
My first ever memory of the Commodore 64? One Christmas Eve night in the early-mid 80s, my Mom had to go into work and left me and my two older brothers at home. So we did what anyone else would do…we took a peek at one of our presents. Slowly, carefully peeling of the sellotape and delicately opening the wrapping paper being careful as not to tear it. The ex-neatly wrapped present revealed a shiny new Commodore 64 and a copy of Gauntlet. Tentatively the box was opened and quickly the Commodore 64 was set up and loading Gauntlet. After playing for a while, the Commodore 64 was just as quickly dismantled, reboxed and meticulously rewrapped then placed back under the tree all set for the “surprise” on Christmas morning.